Volunteers needed as floodwaters in West Carleton come ‘within a whisker’ of 2017 level

Floodwaters on the Ottawa River are expected to peak and begin slowly dropping over the next several days, but until that happens, residents continue to deal with flooded properties.

Allan Joyner, director of West Carleton Disaster Relief, tells Newstalk 580 CFRA’s “CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent” that levels went up higher than expected overnight.

“It was expected to peak last night and it was expected to peak at a lower level than it’s reached,” he said. “Even though all along the authorities have been saying that it wouldn’t reach 2017 levels, we’re within a whisker of it. I think four centimetres below that.”

Joyner said residents are in need of more sandbags to build higher walls, and other homes are now being affected by floodwaters.

“It’s a pretty busy day out here today and we’re really needing people to help with the sandbagging,” he said.

“We’re trying to maintain close to 200 (homes) that had already been sandbagged and we probably added 20 more homes overnight that became endangered by the rising levels.”

Joyner says he doesn’t want to see people just showing up to help, instead directing willing volunteers to the website ottawaflood.ca to sign up.

“We get disaster tourists who drive around wanting to see what the flooding looks like, so we’re trying to minimize traffic,” he said.

There is a large sandbagging operation at the Constance Bay Community Centre on Len Purcell Drive, Joyner says, where people can go to help fill sandbags. If the community centre is at capacity, volunteers will be directed to where they are most needed.

“We’ve got teams that are in the water with hip waders who are building the walls, but it’s getting the bags to them that’s the real requirement right now,” Joyner says.

The weather is forecast to be dry and sunny for the next several days, after more than 60 mm of rain in Ottawa in the last week. The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board said Friday that water levels on the Ottawa River are expected to “decline slowly” over the next week.

–With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Josh Pringle and Jackie Perez.

View original article here Source